Arvest Bank Offers Special Assistance to Customers Affected by Shutdown

Friday, January 25 at 08:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Arvest Bank has announced additional accommodations for our customers affected by the current government shutdown. Because we understand the uncertainty caused by an interruption in income, we’ve established a Special Assistance Customer Care hotline for our customers who need help managing their accounts during this time.

If you have concerns about your accounts related to the government shutdown, please call this dedicated line during normal business hours – 

Arvest Special Assistance Customer Care: (877) 483-2940.

A customer care associate will walk you through specific accommodations available to you.

  • ARVEST MORTGAGE CUSTOMERS: Arvest is suppressing credit reporting, waiving late fees and offering payment assistance including forbearance. In addition to calling (877) 483-2940, mortgage customers can visit the Arvest website to learn more about hardship assistance. Options will vary based on loan type and investor guidelines.
  • PERSONAL LOANS (AUTO, HOME EQUITY, DEBT CONSOLIDATION, ETC.): Arvest is offering payment deferrals for existing loans based on need. In addition, Arvest is waiving origination fees and offering an extension of the first payment due date for some new consumer loan types. Affected customers are encouraged to call (877) 483-2940 to discuss options.
  • CONSUMER AND BUSINESS CREDIT CARD CUSTOMERS: Arvest is offering payment deferrals. Affected customers are encouraged to call (877) 483-2940.
  • CHECKING ACCOUNT HOLDERS: Arvest is waiving account insufficient funds and overdraft fees, as well as monthly account fees, when applicable. To request these waivers or refunds, please call (877) 483-2940.
  • BUSINESS OR COMMERCIAL LOANS: Please contact your local Arvest banker for personalized assistance.

At Arvest we are committed to helping our customers through this challenging time. If you have questions about any of the above accommodations or your eligibility, please do not hesitate to call (877) 483-2940.

Tags: Arkansas, Budgeting, Business Banking, Community Support, Credit Cards, Credit History, Credit Score, Customer Question, Debt, Home Loans, Kansas, Lending and Financing, Missouri, Mortgage, Oklahoma, Overdraft Coverage
 

Understanding Your Credit Report and How it Impacts You Daily

Tuesday, February 07 at 02:25 PM
Category: Personal Finance
You may not realize how much it factors into your lifestyle, but your credit history is important to a lot of people including mortgage lenders, banks, utility companies, prospective employers and more. Don’t worry — we’ve got the answers for a few of the most common credit report questions to help you get up-to-speed!

What is a credit report?
A credit report is a record of your credit history that includes information about:
  • Your identity: Your name, address, full or partial Social Security number, date of birth and possibly employment information.
  • Your existing credit: Information about credit you have, such as your credit card accounts, mortgages, car loans and student loans. It may also include the terms of your credit, how much you owe your creditors and your history of making payments.
  • Your public record: Information about any court judgments against you, any tax liens against your property, or whether you have filed for bankruptcy.
  • Inquiries about you: A list of companies or persons who recently requested a copy of your report.
Why is a credit report important?
Your credit report is important because lenders, insurers, employers, and others may obtain your credit report from credit bureaus to assess how you manage financial responsibilities:
  • Lenders may use your credit report information to see if you qualify for a loan or credit card according to the specific financial institution’s credit policies. Consider the financial solution that gives you competitive rates and bonus rewards opportunitiesArvest Flex Rewards™ credit cards.  
  • Insurance companies may use the information to decide whether you can get insurance and to set the rates you will pay.
  • Employers may use your credit report, if you give them permission to do so, to decide whether to hire you.
  • Telephone and utility companies may use information in your credit report to decide whether to provide services to you.
  • Landlords may use the information to determine whether to rent an apartment to you.
Who collects and reports credit information about me?
There are three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) that gather and maintain the information about you that is included in your credit report. The credit bureaus then provide this information as a credit report to companies or persons that request it, such as lenders from whom you are seeking credit.

Where do credit bureaus get their information?
Credit bureaus get information from your creditors, such as a bank, credit card issuer or auto finance company. They also get information about you from public records, such as property or court records. Each credit bureau gets its information from different sources, so the information in one credit bureau's report may not be the same as the information in another credit bureau's report.
 
How long does negative information, such as late payments, stay on my credit report?
Generally, negative credit information stays on your credit report for seven years. If you have filed for personal bankruptcy, that fact stays on your report for ten years. Information about a lawsuit or an unpaid judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. Information about criminal convictions may stay on your credit report indefinitely.
 
How can I get a free copy of my credit report?
You can get one free credit report every twelve months from each of the nationwide credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion by:
You will need to provide certain information to access your report, such as your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth.
 
You can order one, two, or all three reports at the same time, or you can request these reports at various times throughout the year. The option you choose will depend on the goal of your review. A report generated by one of the three major credit bureaus may not contain all of the information pertaining to your credit history. Therefore, if you want a complete view of your credit record at a particular moment, you should examine your report from each bureau at the same time. However, if you wish to detect any errors and monitor changes in your credit profile over time, you may wish to review a single credit report every four months.

Does the credit bureau decide whether to grant me credit?
No, credit bureaus do not make credit decisions. They provide credit reports to lenders who decide whether to grant you credit.
 
As you understand why credit reports are important, where the information comes from, how long the information stays on the report and where you can get a copy of your credit report, you’ll be better prepared to make financial decisions.
 
Information courtesy of the Federal Reserve Board.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. 

Tags: Credit History, Credit Score, Financial Education
 

Turning Caution into Credit for Millennials

Monday, September 12 at 10:20 AM
Category: Personal Finance

The key for Millennials, and any cardholder, is to manage credit responsibly. 

LOWELL, Ark. – The Millennial generation witnessed the damage the Great Recession caused on their parents’ finances, and that lasting impact has caused many of them to exercise great caution in applying for and using credit cards.

A recent survey by NerdWallet shows as many as one-third of Millennials, often defined as those between the ages of 18 and 34, have never even applied for a credit card. This effort to protect their finances, however, could have the opposite effect of depriving them of a much-needed credit history.

Credit history is necessary because good credit scores help secure mortgage, auto and business loans – potentially at lower rates. They also are a factor in rental agreements and obtaining employment.

A financial resume of sorts, these scores are a reflection of consistent responsibility. Not having that history – for whatever reason – can reflect negatively on consumers of any age.

For young adults who are just entering the workforce, credit also is often used as a short-term safety net or as emergency funding. Many card issuers offer reward programs, making the benefits two-fold; while building a good credit history, the consumer earns rewards for use on products, services, travel and lodging.

The key for Millennials, and any cardholder, is to manage credit responsibly. NerdWallet showed that more than 30 million Millennials have bad credit scores – 600 or below – that could result in higher credit rates and fewer options when it comes to housing or auto loans. The process for improving a low score, demonstrated by consistent credit and payment performance, takes place over years.  

It’s important to begin building that history before it’s needed, and it will be needed. Scores take months – often years – to reach a level that will reward the consumer with loan approvals and lower rates.  

Millennials have a different, more frugal mindset than the generation before them that will likely have many benefits for them over time, but building a solid credit report and score, despite their caution toward credit products, is an important step that needs to be taken.

Tags: Credit Cards, Credit History, Credit Score, Financial Education, Press Release
 

Credit Report Event in Tulsa, Okla.

Tuesday, July 19 at 06:45 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

The Alliance for Economic Inclusion, a financial education initiative serving all of Northeastern Oklahoma, and Goodwill Industries of Tulsa are hosting a free Credit Report Event. 

The event is open to everyone and will be held on Tuesday July 26, 2016, 4-7 p.m. and Thursday, July 28, 2-5 p.m. at Goodwill Industries of Tulsa located at 2800 Southwest Blvd., Tulsa, Okla.  

Participants will have the opportunity to obtain a free** copy of their credit report and sit down with an experienced lender to review the report in detail; no strings attached! The participant and lender will be able to discuss the importance of credit, details of the report, how the credit score is affected by items, how to resolve any disputes on the report, etc.
 
The event is free. For additional information, contact Amber Deramus at amber.deramus@centralbank.net or (918) 499-4162.  
 
Important! To get a credit report, you must:
  • Know your Social Security number
  • Have a photo ID (driver's license, matricula or state ID card)
**NOTE: Consumers can pull one free credit report each year from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. There is a charge for additional reports.

Tags: Community Support, Credit History, Credit Score, Oklahoma, Tulsa
 

7 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Monday, June 06 at 01:40 PM
Category: Personal Finance

An important step to getting a loan is ensuring you have a good credit history. Here are some tips to improve your credit score.

  1. Request a copy of your credit score report – and make sure it is correct. Your credit report illustrates your credit performance, and it needs to be accurate so you can apply for loans. Everyone is entitled to receive a free copy of his or her credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies, but you must go through the Federal Trade Commission’s website at www.annualcreditreport.com*, or call (877) 322-8228. Note, you may have to pay for the numerical credit score itself.
  2. Set up automatic bill pay. Payment history makes up 32 percent of your VantageScore credit score and 35 percent of your FICO credit score. The longer you pay your bills on time, the better your score. Avoid missed payments by setting as many of your bills to automatic pay as possible.
  3. Build credit through renting. VantageScore’s scoring model, created by the three major credit bureaus, will now weigh rent and utility payment records. This will allow it to score as many as 35 million people who previously couldn’t get a credit score.
  4. Keep balances low on credit cards and ‘revolving credit.’ Racking up big balances can hurt your scores, regardless of whether you pay your bills in full each month. You often can increase your scores by limiting your charges to 30 percent or less of a card's limit.
  5. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Keep this in mind the next time a retailer offers you 10 percent off if you open an account. However, if you need a new line of credit, don’t jump at the first appealing offer; compare rates and fees offered through mail solicitation, on the internet or at your local bank, like Arvest
  6. Don’t close old, paid off accounts. According to FICO, closing accounts can never help your score and can in fact damage it. 
  7. Talk to credit counselors if you’re in trouble. Using legitimate, non-profit credit counseling can help you manage your debt and won’t hurt your credit score. For more information on debt management, contact the National Foundation for Consumer Credit*.
By consistently making wise financial choices to help boost your credit score, you’re placing yourself in a better position to get a loan when you need it.

Information courtesy of American Bankers Association.

*Link goes to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Credit History, Credit Score, Financial Education

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